Karl R. Barnickol

T: (312) 269-8047
F: (312) 980-0878

Consistently labeled a “rising” and “future star” by nationwide legal directories, Karl R. Barnickol has cultivated an extensive litigation practice that mainly concerns the defense of complex mass tort and class action cases. In particular, Karl handles fraud and negligence claims against content providers and software developers, securities and corporate governance litigation, and civil and criminal antitrust investigations and actions. However, his practice is not limited to that scope, as his experience intersects with many other areas of business-related litigation.

Karl has a dependable track record of success for clients in state and federal courts nationwide, both at the trial and appellate levels. His representative clients include Career Education Corporation and WoltersKluwer. Not only does Karl represent companies at the corporate level, but individual officers and directors frequently engage him when faced with complex civil litigation, such as shareholder suits. Additionally, companies and their executives turn to Karl for help when they are targets of regulatory and criminal investigations alleging fraud that involves securities, price fixing and health care claims, among others.

Karl’s trial and appellate experience includes:

  • Obtaining dismissal of three amended securities fraud complaints and four parallel derivative complaints filed against a company and its senior executives.
  • Successfully negotiating a class action settlement in a $1.6 billion health care fraud class action and defending the settlement against objections from class members in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
  • Obtaining a favorable allocation of costs on behalf of an oil company facing environmental claims following a four-week bench trial.

From 2008 to 2010, Illinois Super Lawyers listed Karl as a Rising Star, and since 2016 he has been listed as a Super Lawyer. He is also ranked in Benchmark Litigation as a Future Star and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2012.

While in law school at Washington University in St. Louis, Karl was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Washington University Law Review.


  • Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (J.D., 1997)
  • Georgetown University (A.B., 1994)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

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